ICYMI: What's Happening Around the Industry

Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy outdoorsy headlines. We’ve combed the social networks and scoured the news outlets to curate some of the most relevant and most intriguing stories out there. Read. Enjoy. Share.

May 3, 2017

April 26–May 2, 2017


That Time Outdoorists Took Over D.C.

Last week, some of the most influential outdoorists in the industry converged upon Capitol Hill to give Congress a (passionate, collaborative, constructive) piece of our minds. It’s a little event we call Capitol Summit–and this year was our biggest yet. The defining moment of the week? The launch of our Outdoor Recreation Economy report, an event held at the National Press Club and that included remarks from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Whit Fosburgh of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, REI’s Eric Artz, Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID), and our own Amy Roberts. Missed the event? You can catch up with our Facebook Live broadcast here.

ICYMI: Here’s a snapshot of Capitol Summit 2017:

  • 130 outdoorists hit the Hill to lobby for the outdoors. Our secret weapon this year? The newly released Outdoor Recreation Economy report.
  • Senator Tim Kaine joined us for pancakes and explained why he and so many colleagues are supporters of our industry.
  • More than a dozen teams spent two days meeting with elected officials and their senior staffs on the Hill.
  • Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Don Beyer (D-VA), and Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) received our Friend of the Industry awards.
  • A few of us stuck around to drive our point home by testifying in front of a House committee. Watch the legislative hearing on the impact of the outdoors here, featuring OIA’s Executive Director Amy Roberts, REI’s Marc Berejka, Columbia Sportswear Vice President of Global Customs and Trade Jeff Tooze, and POW Founder Jeremy Jones, and influential others leaders giving testimony on the importance of outdoor recreation.

That Time Amy Roberts Packed a Verbal Punch

The headline of Roberts’ op-ed (read it here) in The Hill says it all: “The outdoor recreation economy is a force that is here to stay.” She calls out some of the big issues we’re tackling, and makes it clear that our industry is here to be heard. Cue the mic drop.

ICYMI: Outdoor recreation is an $887 billion economy that supports 7.6 million American jobs. Learn more and watch our video here.

Bonus points: Want to amplify support for the outdoor rec economy and share the new stats? Use our social media toolkit to spread the love.


About That Executive Order on National Monuments

Last week, we told you about the executive order signed by Trump seeking a review of existing national monument designations under the Antiquities Act. No bueno. We rounded up reactions from around the industry here last week, and the negative feedback to Trump’s move continues to pour in from outdoor brands, lawmakers, and the outdoorist community. Senators condemned the order, Keen reminded us that national monuments benefit the outdoor recreation economy on their blog, and Teresa Baker called the reviews “an insult to us all” in this Outside op-ed. TBD what the result of these reviews mean for the future of our monuments. OIA remains committed  to providing the administration with the economic value of protected public lands across the country.

Bringing The Outdoors Inside, in a Big Way

As big box stores like Sports Authority go belly up, they leave behind enormous retail spaces–many of which are currently sitting vacant. So what to do with all that prime real estate? Chris Warner, CEO of Earth Treks Climbing gym has an idea: turn those big, open facilities into fitness centers. In fact, he’s currently revamping an old Sports Authority in Englewood, Colorado, into the country’s largest indoor rock gym. Read about his big plans here.


That Time Outdoorists Went Back to D.C. for More

To commemorate Trump’s 100th day in office, a few environmentally aware Americans took to the streets to raise awareness around climate change and, you know, generally treating our earth with a little respect. And by a few, we mean 200,000–and that was just in D.C. OIA members Protect Our Winter and Patagonia were among the many outdoor brands that spent the weekend hosting sign-making parties at retail shops and marching together in solidarity. ICYMI: Climate policy is a big deal for our industry.

And we ain’t stopping any time soon. Next week, OIA members American Alpine Club and Access Fund will bring elite climbers to Capitol Hill to advocate for public lands. More here.


So, You Want in on the Action?

With all the momentum and energy around environmental and public lands action right now, you may find yourself developing a little sensation we’d like to call the advocacy itch. Whether you don’t know where to start to take meaningful action, or want to provide your organization with a powerful resource to get everyone onboard with the good fight, we’ve got the perfect place to start here. Side effects include: heightened passion for outdoor activism, increased legislative awareness, and a hoarse voice from calling your reps so much. We’re down with the sickness.


Loss of a Legend: RIP Ueli Steck

This weekend, the mountain community shook over the news that alpinist legend Ueli Steck lost his life during a fall in the Himalayas–exact details are unknown. Known as the “Swiss Machine”, Ueli redefined alpine athleticism and inspired big mountain dreams for anyone who encountered his thirst for pushing the limits outdoors. We’ll miss the way you move through mountains, Ueli.


Want more from the industry? Check out last week’s ICYMI and tweet us with your finds for the top outdoor stories for next week’s edition.